tv [untitled] October 18, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT
revitalization of existing buildings in the south of market corridor, that this area has become quite a hub for business. not my office building that i work out of was -- opened in 1971 at market and fremont. it was one of the first of the big high-rises contemplated going into that zone. and i see, you know, we're right next to 50 fremont which is another large building which actually sales force is moving into, and a lot of companies are looking to have kind of these sort of building situations. and actually i'll use sales force as an interesting example because i was talking to an employee -- i'm not saying the employee can speak for the company as a whole, but the thing that among those employees they felt like mission bay was too far out, you know, that in some ways that they wanted to work in an office campus, that they would maybe work outside the city. that there's something lost when you're so far away from transit and so far away from being where the core of things are. i also remember that there was a study done a couple years ago
and i can't remember who did that study, but they said that the determination for people taking transit isn't how long it takes them to get to the transit from their home, but how far the transit is from their job. so, once they get to the city or downtown, how long it takes them to get to their job will determine whether or not they will choose to drive. and i think in looking at those sort of things it makes a lot of sense that we're contemplating our development here near the transit -- with the transit center. there is a certain amount of density that's required for retail, for other sort of uses to be successful in a core. i think what is challenging with lots of new buildings built in areas, neighborhoods that aren't fully developed yet and the retail spaces suffer because there isn't a critical mass of people to keep and sustain those things from moving forward. so, i do recognize that in order to have a successful transit center district with all the piece, parts that are driving the revenue, a density
is needed to happen in that space. whether or not -- i think everybody can agree or disagree about the project itself. i think it's kind of interesting because in looking back at history, people had a lot of very unflattering things and really were upset about the transamerica building in the downtown plan and all those things that happened were a lot to do with that and now it's actually one of our city's biggest icons and i think you couldn't have convinced anybody who was arguing about the transamerica building back in the day that that would ever be the case, but here we sit today knowing something quite different. so, you know, yes, sometimes you look at these shops and i don't like the way the tower looks particularly without the other towers there. it kind of sticks out. i think that we've approved the transit district plan that once it's filled out will really soften the way this building looks in its cingular motion. but i think we spend a lot of time talking about the integral nature of this building to the overall transit district and
the transit center itself which is the center piece and the whole reason we're doing this project and that all the different other public benefits that flow with it, you know, i'm left with having [speaker not understood] with the fruition of the entire plan happening that we will feel differently about how this all comes together, differently than when we look at the pictures today and see this giant tower sticking out by itself. but i do believe when the skyline, the more elegant skyline, even with the other rincon towers are added, we will see this quite differently than we do today. >> thank you. we'll offer some comments. i think that this is going to be san francisco's great tower. there are many great towers around the world. san francisco is known as a city of innovation. i think this building will be innovative. its mechanical uses, exterior were pieces passed along up here.
excuse me. i was a little bit disappointed, though, not about the design, but the observation deck was not included. and i know that had been discussed and the department -- the city was maybe pushing towards that. i just want to throw out a little bit of few facts that i was able to look up just for contemplation and that is the new world trade center in new york will bring in $100 million per year in revenue from observation deck sales. placed like the empire state building brings in 3.8 million visitors per year, sears tower 1.4 million visitors per year, the hancock objecttry in chicago 6 million per year. it's not about the dollars, it's the impact and coming from a tourism background, the experience that we can give visitors to san francisco and this will be, in my opinion, a very different perspective of san francisco in a spot and elevation literally that you wouldn't be able to get to without being in a helicopter
or crane. and, so, i'd like to lean towards asking the project sponsor and the staff to continue working as this project moves forward to consider to really study an observation deck whether it's large or small. i totally understand the complications that it brings to the building adding another additional lobby for visitors versus office users, an additional elevator, expanding stairwells, i understand that problem that it creates. but i think it's potentially a once in a lifetime opportunity for san francisco to have a tower. we're probably not going to have many more of these if this may end up being the tallest building in san francisco and i think we should -- san francisco deserves to have a fair look at that opportunity for an observation deck. but i am supportive of the project overall. commissioner hillis. >> just a question on the open space and phasing. how does this work with terminal being built and this
being built at different times and the open space, how do they connect in the interim periods? obviously not connect while one is under construction or one is contemplated to be under construction. paul parity, project sponsor. the timing is not yet determined. we still have to figure that out exactly. the mission square plaza that is a part of our open space cannot be completed until the garage underneath it is constructed. and, so, that plaza won't come until after the building is built and the garage is in place. if the project were to move forward at the fastest possible timing that we could imagine, all that would be done about simultaneously with the completion of the transit center. otherwise if it follows, we will -- we have an agreement to
make the open space an acceptable way for people to get into the transit center in the meantime. >> the mission square open space, who manages that? heinz, we provide the tjt with the [speaker not understood] for passengers to walk over and get to the transit center. but heinz will be overseeing the open space. >> and the open space on the terminal will be tjpa operated [speaker not understood]? that's correct. >> commissioner antonini. >> i have a question, i guess, for mr. parity, or perhaps for mr. clark. it has to do with possible tenants not the actual names of tenants, but looking at the design, i'm led to believe and by the attention to elevators and the attention to stairways within the building, i would believe that you could entertain a variety of different tenants instead of having fewer larger tenants. is that true from what i see architecturally?
yeah, that's completely true. we envision this project could accommodate just about any tenant in san francisco. so, you could start with the existing tenants around the city who are in -- currently in high-rises. we certainly think this building will be terrific for them. the floors are set up in a way that corridors will allow the spaces to be broken up into smaller spaces for smaller tenants. and also for the large tech tenant that are in the news so much recently, we think this building will be attractive for them also because of the generous heights within the floors and the really terrific working environment that will exist within the building. and, so, we think tenants like those will also be interested. so, it's a building for everybody. >> and as a follow-up along those same lines, a lot of these tech companies like heights, but they also like flexibility.
so, they don't have to have their employees going a number of different floors. but looking at the fairly generous 27,000 square feet on the bottom, only tapers to 18,000, it would seem there may be ways to combine floors in such a way that a tenant could have possibly a larger, you know, space between two floors or three. it's a terrific size floor plate in that it can be stacked for large floor tenants as you're talking about now or broken up as i mentioned earlier for smaller tenants. and also all of the space within the floors is column free. so, these tech tenants that like to just have an open space environment and tables to work on such, they can set that up in this building. they also like to have a fairly dense population in the buildings and so we're taking that in consideration on our elevatoring and the bathroom fixture counts so that we can have those tech tenants be very happy in this building.
>> well, thank you. that sounds like that's very forward looking and it's something that will appeal to different types of tenants depending on their needs, particularly what seems to be cutting edge. so, thank you very much for your comments. and i would also go along with president fong on the idea of some sort of public space somewhere in the upper floors, if not an observation deck, a restaurant, a lounge, something where people can go up there because the first thing when you visit a city you want to go to the tallest building or one of the tallest buildings to see the view. it's just human nature. people like that. and i think it's -- if it can work in and if there is a way that could be, without destroying the commercial character of the building, but making that a possibility, it certainly wouldn't have to be the entire 18,000 square feet of the top floor, but there might be a way to work something in there. >> commissioner sugaya.
>> yes, i did see that letter from alisandro asking us to consider that, the observation deck. i was thinking there isn't an observation deck in any of the high-rises in san francisco, short of having to go to the top of the mark for a drink or something like that. the only one i can think of that's really public is in golden gate park in the museum. so, i think we're trying to urge you to at least take a look at that and consider it somewhat seriously at this point. transamerica -- i'm sorry, it sucked back then, it still does. it's a lousy piece of architecture and it's too bad that people think of it as an icon of san francisco. maybe this will replace it, who knows. i'm pretty much for the project. i'm asking for separate votes because i can't support one of
the motions, but otherwise i'm fine. >> commissioner moore. >> there used to be a [speaker not understood] room on the top floor of the bank of america which used to be the equivalent of the observation deck, but that doesn't exist any more. >> go ahead. get on the list. >> 9/11 you could go to the top of the transamerica building, but now you can't. it's all secure unfortunate. avoid that. >> we don't have a motion at the moment. >> i was thinking of making one. >> commissioner antonini. >> well, i'm going to make separate motions in fairness to commissioner sugaya. so, the first motion would be to adopt findings under california environmental quality act. >> second. >> commissioners, the motion on the floor is to approve adoption of the c-e-q-a findings. on that motion, commissioner
antonini? >> aye. >> commissioner borden? >> aye. >> commissioner moore? >> no. >> commissioner sugaya? >> aye. >> commissioner wu? >> aye. >> commissioner fong? >> aye. >> thank you, commissioners, the motion passed 6 to 1 with commissioner moore voting against. >> second, adopt findings that new shadows and the project, that the project would cast on eight open spaces would not be adverse to those spaces, allocate the absolute cumulative shadow limits to the project. >> second. >> six open spaces. >> commissioner moore? >> i think it might be appropriate for me to repeat my objections to the specific aspect of the project based on how i voted last week. and for those people who were not here last week the planning commission and park and rec together considered shadows cast by this project, however
simultaneously we considered shadows cast by 11 other potential building which will not come based on their own merit in front of this commission and can reach a cumulative approval motion for 12 buildings casting shadows on 7 of 9 -- san francisco park which are protected under prop k. i voted against this because i believed that the magnitude of change of cumulative shadow -- of the shadow effect of 12 buildings is significant and consequential and is indeed against the very intent of prop k. as for that very reason and not for the merits of this project that subsequent motions which deal with this tower which is now packaged together with this past week's approval, i cannot vote for any of the aspects
because i voted the way i did last week. >> commissioners, the motion on the floor is to adopt findings that the shadow is not adverse for any of the mentioned parks. on that motion, commissioner antonini? >> aye. >> commissioner borden? >> aye. >> commissioner hillis? >> aye. >> commissioner moore? >> no. >> commissioner sugaya? >> no. >> commissioner wu? >> aye. >> commissioner fong? >> aye. >> that motion passed 5 to 2 with commissioners moore and sugaya voting against. >> and move to allocate 1,375,0 77 annual space [speaker not understood]. >> second. >> commissioner moore. >> this project before us today would be looked at its own merit. this is a terrific project and part of a terrific plan. i find its architectural
solutions, i find its response to the urban context by itself and in the context of the plan strong and convincing. however, for the other reasons that i stated during the previous motion that i will not be able to support this in any future aspect of the project. >> commissioners, the motion on the floor is to approve the allocation of the annual office development limitation program. on that motion, commissioner antonini? >> aye. >> commissioner borden? >> aye. >> commissioner hillis? >> aye. >> commissioner moore? >> no. >> commissioner sugaya? >> aye. >> commissioner wu? >> aye. >> commissioner fong? >> aye. >> thank you, commissioners, that motion passed 6 to 1 with commissioner moore voting against. >> finally, determine the project complies with planning code section 309 with exceptions in regards to separation of tower street wall base, reduction of ground floor level wind currents and c3
districts, general standards of off-street parking and loading section and finally unoccupied building height. >> second. >> staff? >> pardon. if i may ask the commission, there is a lot of discussion on the item regarding observation deck recommendation to continue working on that. the formal language you would wish to have is a motion or is that informal direction you'd like to give to staff? >> i'd like to make that formal language that they continue -- >> that's good with me. i'd like to see that as part of the motion if staff works on that particular aspect. >> second to support that. >> commissioners, the motion on the floor is to -- >> i'm sorry. commissioner moore. >> in terms of the compliance, i would look at this project just on its own today and saying the project is skillfully maneuvers but our
very difficult decision to decide on the modifications which were made of the project during the time we last saw it. do indeed speak to many of the things which were in question. if it would be under different circumstance, but not today. >> commissioners, the motion on the floor is for approval of with conditions and the added condition today is that staff continue to work with the project sponsor on putting an observation deck in the project. on that motion, commissioner antonini? >> aye. >> commissioner borden? >> aye. >> commissioner hillis? >> aye. >> commissioner moore? >> no. >> commissioner sugaya? >> i did have my -- that's okay. just a quick comment. this motion, as part of the findings and all the stuff that's in our packet, there is reference to shadows on parks. i voted against the motion
previously on shadows, but i'll use the staff term on balance in this particular motion, i think i can vote for it. aye. >> thank you. commissioner wu? >> aye. >> commissioner fong? >> aye. >> thank you, commissioners. that motion passed 6 to 1 with commissioner moore voting against. congratulations. thank you. commissioners, you are now on item number 14, case no. 2012.09 28 ddd for 2000 20th street, requested discretionary review. thank you.
when is the appropriate time or how, when, can a make a motion to continue? * can i make a motion to continue? >> you can do that at any point. i mean, we've called the item into the record. you might want to let staff give its presentation. and when you get to commissioners deliberation, make the motion for continuance, or you can do it now if you want. >> if you want to explain your rationale. >> i've had some communication with staff with respect to the drawings and what has been presented to us to consider. and in that communication mr. [speaker not understood] did indicate that the project sponsor had changed some of the design. and in the context of having apparently worked with some of the dr requesters, i then asked
whether or not the dr requesters had accepted those changes and the answer was basically no. that they had not withdrawn their dr and the hearing would go forward. and i requested copies of the drawings in advance of the hearing. i was also told by staff that that was probably not going to happen, but that perhaps they would hand them out during the meeting, which just happened. now, i am not going to read these drawings at the last minute and we should have had them before hand in order for us to consider. so, therefore, i'd like to continue the meeting until we have a chance to look at -- if this is the last iteration, then i'll take a look at them over the next week. but i'm not going to look at them now, and therefore, i'm not going to be prepared to vote. if that happens, i will exit the meeting. >> commissioner antonini. >> well, i guess this is a
discretionary review, of course. so, we have a project that under definition was compliant, but we have discretionary review. and i think what the key element here is in terms of this continuance request is are the changes that difficult to understand that we can't, you know, visualize them having studied the original ones? if these are huge and changes and the feeling of staff i could concur with commissioner sugaya. but if they are some condition changes that try to address some of the concerns of the dr requesters, then that's something we do all the time and i don't know why we can't consider it today and get it finished. >> let me ask a question. did the dr requesters also just receive this most recent? >> yes. so, basically on october 9th staff was informed that the project sponsor in consultation with the dr requesters made
minor refinements to the plans. on october 16 the dr -- the project sponsor provided updated drawings to reflect those minor refinements and specifically they included a change in the guardrail from a glass guardrail to a steel cable rail, reduction in the height of the rooftop penthouse to 6 foot 11 inches, and a change in the glazing in the [speaker not understood] window in the west facade to translucent [speaker not understood]. so, overall the changes i guess would be considered relatively minor but they don't address all the dr requesterses' concerns. >> commissioner borden. >> i'll just ask a question to -- i know people have been sitting here and you probably have a feeling you don't want to have this item continued. i guess i'd like to ask the project sponsor and then -- and maybe a representative of each
of the dr requesters. for less than 30 seconds, would there be an advantage to continue? ideally we love it when people work it out among themselves because the truth is people often don't like the solution that we come up with as often as somewhere between where the two parties lie and which makes everyone unhappy. and i'm not saying that's what's going to happen, but that often seems to be the case. if there is a chance dialogue and reach an agreement we don't have to hear this at all. but i guess that -- my only question would be is there a reason, would it be worthwhile to continue this week? i don't know what the schedule looks like. i'm saying it might be a week, two, might be three. i'd like to understand if there would be an advantage, would peep come together and try to work this out or something else
could be arrived at or should we just go ahead and hear the case today. maybe the project sponsor and then one of the -- one representative of each of the three drs could say 32nd or less, take three minutes because that's what the law allows. just very quickly -- commissioner borden, commissioner sugaya, like i said, the drawings that were submitted at the last -- on the 16th was it intended, it was some minor changes that we talked about during the most previous meeting. we met three times after the 311 verification. these were just -- the neighbor wanted -- we had original steel cable or steel guardrail for the roof deck fence. they said, well, please, let us have glass. >> just say yes or no. [multiple voices] >> my question is rather would you be comfortable with a continuance and try to work with your neighbor?
if it is possible, yes, please. >> so, you would be in support. okay, great. >> good afternoon, commissioners, [speaker not understood], an attorney. on behalf of all three of the drs, all three wish to have the continuance and to see if progress can be made on discussions. >> perfect. okay, commissioners, having heard that, let me just offer this so you can consider this for your deliberation. your calendar for next week, the 25th is a full calendar. you could possibly continue it to the november 1st or november 8th. the 15th is also closed, it's full, or the 29th of november. the 1st, eighth or 29th. >> first. >> i might also say for the record; i real have i to leave at 5:30 and i think commissioner borden is also leaving at 5:30. *
i can see that i didn't really look at the time when i was talking about the continuance. but i realize we have less than an hour and this is going to take more than that if we go ahead with it tonight. so, that's the kind of a side issue that you're going to lose to commissioners at that time. >> based on what they said, i'd move to continue till november 1st. >> excuse me, you're out of order. and before the commission at this point. thank you very much. >> commissioner hillis. >> i'm not going to be here on november 1st. so, if it's possible to move it to the 8th, that would be helpful. >> 8th would be fine. commissioner moore. >> is there a motion for continuance to november 8? >> i'll amend my notion. motion. >> second. >> thank you. there is a motion and second. >> commissioner moore? >> i will be out of the room for a minute.